Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Author Taylor Plimpton Details Nightlife Dalliances in New Tome

Author Taylor Plimpton at McNally Jackson Bookstore
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

Author Taylor Plimpton, son of former renowned Paris Review editor George Plimpton, detailed on Monday his dilliances in New York nightlife, stories that are chronicled in his new tome.

The 33-year-old, who spent long nights in Manhattan clubs to research his book, discussed his zest for nightlife and read from his part-memoir, part-guidebook "Notes From the Night: A Life After Dark" -- his first tome -- Monday night at McNally Jackson Bookstore in SoHo.

"When I go out I feel that excitement in the pit of my stomach and that hint of possibility of what the night holds," Plimpton said last night. "When I go out I don't want to go home. If I'm out, I want to see the whole night through until dawn when there's nothing left to find."

"I really like to get every last bit of it."

Plimpton, whose father was considered a literary tour de force, said it took him six years to research and write his book, during which time he would venture into clubs to observe people and document the scene. Citing Avenue as one of his favorite hot spots, Plimpton said the club scene is a tough industry to crack.

"Generally, it's a vicious circle," he said. "Either you know someone at the door or you don't -- and if you don't, you're out of that loop. And sometimes they'll say you need girls to get in, but we need to get in to get girls so it's a circle."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"American Idiot" Co-Stars Take to the Stage as Hip Hop Duo Fran Sancisco

Me with the guys from Fran Sancisco at the D-Lounge.

"American Idiot" co-stars Brian Charles Johnson and Chase Peacock, accustomed to sharing a Broadway stage, made a different kind of debut in New York over the weekend. 

The actors, who met in San Francisco as they were working on the Green Day-inspired rock musical, took to the stage as hip-hop group Fran Sancisco Saturday at the D-Lounge in Manhattan. 

"We liked this hip-hop and R&B vibe, and I had a real hankering for an outlet," Peacock told NiteSide.

The project began as a handful of songs and collection of inside jokes between "American Idiot" cast members. 

"We got this amazing response that we weren't prepared for," Johnson said. 

The duo also received a blessing from "American Idiot" director Michael Mayer, who told the pair, "Hey, you guys do not stop making this music," according to Peacock.

"So that was huge for us," he added. 

Johnson and Peacock, who are now working on their first album, said playing music on stage is far different from performing on the Great White Way.

"On stage [for 'American Idiot'] we have choreography and places to be," said Peacock, "and when we're doing our own thing it's just two guys on stage with microphones."

Johnson said he finds up-and-coming artists like Kid Cudi inspiring, and Peacock said he considers Chris Brown to be one of his role models.

"I got obsessed with Chris Brown and would watch all of his videos and would dance in my mirror to the music videos," said Peacock.

And, of course, both cite Green Day as having been influential in their careers. 

"Knowing Green Day for so long and watching them as a kid and seeing them on TV and now I'm hanging out at their house and they're asking me if I want anything to eat," said Peacock. "It's just an amazing thing." 

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Friday, August 20, 2010

O.A.R. Bass Guitaris Benj Gershman Wants to Relay Messages With His Photos

me and O.A.R. guitarist Benj Gershman at the Morrison Hotel Gallery.

O.A.R. bass guitarist Benj Gershman is also involved in photography and he told NiteSide that besides snapping pictures of people and bands, he wants to use his photography to relay messages to the world.

"I want to have a whole other side of photography that is just social messaging," Gershman said. "I'll have a lot of them revolve around my passion for our environment and a lot of them with my view on America and telling the story about the world we live in right now."

Gershman premiered his "Rock Cause (O.A.R.)" photography exhibit last night at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in Manhattan. This exhibit profiled experiences of O.A.R., and he said there are other types of bands he would like to create a similar project about.

"What intrigues me is a lot of the bands that look like they're from the 70s and the people that have that style that they're not in this modern era, like Kings of Leon or Edward Sharp and the Magnificent Zeros," Gershman said. "Those kinds of bands have such a magnificent style."

Gershman, who has shot a Dave Matthews concert, said photography started out as a hobby for him but eventually became a passion.

"I just sort of found it and fell in love with it," he said.

Gershman got his first camera from his father about a year after leaving college. He experimented with it while he was on tour with the band and realized photography wasn't as easy as he expected.

"I wasn't good at it at first and that pissed me off," Gershman said. "I had to really work at it and figure it out. I can't tell you how frustrating it is for me as a person to not get something right. Mistakes for me are hard to swallow."

He kept taking photos, not only to get better at it but also just to capture what he and the other band members were experiencing during that time in their lives.

"I realized that our band was going through things that wouldn't last forever," Gershman said. "We were changing and our music was changing. I wanted to capture it and savor it a little bit."

After developing a better understanding of photography, Gershman says it comes more naturally for him than it used to.

"When I look at things now, I don't just see the whole thing," Gershman said. "I'm looking at tones and I'm looking at the back lighting. Those things happen much more instinctually than they did early on."

Gershman says that his band mates used to tease him about always having a camera with him, but always encouraged him and even later asked for his advice.

"They've gotten some cool cameras and I've been fortunate enough to lend some tips their way," Gershman said. "They're the most supportive guys in the world and I'm lucky to have them get it like that."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Songwriter Brendan James: My Must-Have For Making Music

Singer-songwriter Brendan James at the VH1 Save the Music fundraiser.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

Singer-songwriter Brendan James, who is releasing his self-titled album in September, told NiteSide he can't write a song without sitting at a piano. 

"When [the song] hits me, I have to find a piano quickly and get as much creativity out in that time span and then it leaves me," James said Thursday at the VH1 Save the Music benefit at Bowlmor Lanes in Gramercy. "I can find inspiration anywhere, but I have to be at a piano to write."

The Los Angeles- based crooner will have his music featured on the trailer for the upcoming Reese Witherspoon and Jack Nicholson flick "How Do You Know?".

"I'm really happy about it," the up-and-comer said. 

James, who said he has been compared to Ryan Adams and Elton John, isn't sure how to classify his music but hope it resonates with fans. 

"I don't know how to classify my own music," James said. "I guess it's pop music with hopefully some meaning. That's the goal."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

The Plain White T's: Next Album Will Not Be All "Boy-Girl Lovey-Dovey"

Me and Tom Higgenson from The Plain White T's

Rockers The Plain White T's, best known for their Grammy-nominated love ballad "Hey There Delilah," revealed to NiteSide last night that their new album may stun fans.

"You'll be surprised by this album," lead-singer Tom Higgenson said Wednesday night during a VH1 Save the Music benefit at Bowlmor Lanes in Gramercy. "It's a little different for us, but still very honest and sincere and catchy. We wanted to explore some different themes."

"Not all the songs are boy-girl lovey-dovey. We went a little bit deeper."

The band performed acoustic versions of "Boomerang" and "Rhythm of Love" -- two songs from their new album -- Wednesday night at the Manhattan bowling bash. Singer Higgenson said the latest album, "The Wonders of the Younger," is a bit more reflective than records past.

"The more life you live, the older you get, the more you kind of lose that innocence and that wonder that you have when you're young," said Higgenson. "Not that you want a bunch of 40-year-olds running around acting like kids, but to hang on to a little bit of that wonder I think is important. Hopefully, this record will help people reconnect with that a little bit."

And although the Plain White T's have topped the charts with "Hey There Delilah," which they also performed last night, the group is attempting to reach the top several more times in their careers.

"The Beatles had 27 No. 1 songs, so we want to have 28," said Higgenson. "So yeah, we have pressure to live up to those songs. Our song '1, 2, 3, 4' didn't quite crack number one, so we're still 27 away."

Guitarist Tim Lopez, who wrote their current single "Rhythm of Love" about an ex-girlfriend, said achieving this goal all depends on the fans: "It's not us who decides how big [the songs] get," said Lopez. "We write them, we pen them, and then it's out of our hands."

Added Higgenson: "We just try to make the best music that we can that we feel passionate about and whatever else happens, happens."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Personal note: Talk about an amazing group of guys. Hanging out with the Plain White T's at Bowlmor Lanes last night was an absolute blast. They are really kind people and very, very talented.

Inside the Bowling Bash at Bowlmor With the Plain White T's

The Plain White T's performed on a stage right over the bowling lanes.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

VH1 held a bowling fundraiser at Bowlmor Lanes in Manhattan to benefit the Save the Music foundation with a special guest acoustic performance by The Plain White T's.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Night With East Village Radio DJ's Two for Tennis

Tim Lee, me, and Messenie from "Two for Tennis" at East Village Radio.
check them out online at www.eastvillageradio.com


Radio hosts Tim "Love" Lee and "Coach MP" Mike Messenie, the pair who make up DJ duo Two for Tennis, spend Tuesday evenings spinning at the streetside East Village Radio studio -- but the real show is often outside. 

"We get a lot of strange looks, but I give a lot of strange looks," said Messenie, as a group of tourists stopped to snap photos outside the small, glass-front, mirror-walled space that serves as the station's studio on 1st Avenue and 1st Street in Manhattan. 

"One of the greatest things about New York is to people watch, and we are sitting in front of a gigantic window on the corner of 1st and 1st -- the nexus of the universe -- just observing people walk by. Everybody is represented on this corner -- a guy walks by, crying, drinking a 22-ounce Budweiser and then a lawyer will walk by."

"We see everything."

Two for Tennis -- which lists Steely Dan and Gentle Giant among their musical favorites and boasts listeners from the UK, Australia, and Asia -- has watched as confused passerby walk into the studio, mistaking it for a bar or club or some sort of dance party.

"Because of the mirrors, we have people wandering in thinking they're walking into this happening joint and it's just me and Mike in here," Lee said. "But sometimes people stay and we've ended up with nine or ten people all crammed into this little room. Several times it will turn into a mini night club back here just by people coming in by accident."

Lee and Meesenie said the spontaneity of the show adds to the experience and is even reflected in the music they play. The DJs pride themselves in not having a set list of songs and say it's part of what adds character to the show. 

"There's always a solution to not having a plan," Messenie said. "If you can't think of one thing to play, play five things."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Inside Showbiz Boss Jim Caruso's Cast Party at Birdland

Arianna performed her song acapella last night at "Cast Party."
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Co-Anchoring the Live "NYU Tonight" News Broadcast

I co-anchored NYU Tonight's live weekly night news broadcast on March 25, 2010.
I've had requests to see it, so here's the video.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Inside the WAVES Fundraising Party at 2 Cooper

Matthew Catalano, Jessica Ping DePaira, and Joe Lee at the WAVES party.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

WAVES for Development, a group that bridges a passion for surfing and volunteering, held a fundraiser party at 2 Cooper Square in Manhattan last night. This is the gallery I put together from the event:

Author Martin Amis: Sex Scene in Latest Work Was Easiest to Write

British author Martin Amis signed books after his talk at Barnes and Noble.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer


British author Martin Amis spoke about his experiences in penning the scandalous sexual scenes in his latest novel "The Pregnant Widow" last night during a rare reading by the venerated scribe in Union Square.

"The climactic sexual scene in this book is pornographic in nature and that was the easiest part to write about because emotion is divorced from it," Amis told a crowd at Barnes and Noble Wednesday night.

Amis describes "The Pregnant Widow" as a story about a man in his early 20s overcoming "the sexual revolution." The semi-autobiographical novel was originally due out in 2008, but underwent a series of edits and alterations delaying its release date until this year.

"There has to come a point where you say, 'I'm not going to speculate about what 20-year-olds think about sex' because it's just not right," Amis said.

Amis said he reads books by authors of his same age, his father's age, or a generation behind his father.

"Reading the latest contemporary writers who are 24 is nothing I want to do," Amis said. "They don't have a large enough repertoire of work yet."

"The Pregnant Widow" is Amis' 14th book, but he said he still faces a firing squad of critics.

"In America, you're only as good as your last novel or your last picture, that's the motto," Amis said. "But in England, you're not even that good."

Amis also had some advice for those considering writing a book.

"If you are thinking of writing your first novel, I have a rule to cheer you up," Amis said. "Remember that your first novel won't be perfect. You need to forget about perfection and you need to trust your own voice."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Personal Note: Martin Amis said something I really liked, but that didn't really fit in my story, so I'm including it here: "Writers die twice. They have the death of their talent followed by the death of the body."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Housewives" Danielle Staub Says She Has Reality TV Spin-Off in the Works

Lori Michaels and Danielle Staub celebrate Danielle's 48th Birthday at Scores.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

"Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Danielle Staub revealed during her birthday bash last night that she is in the works of creating her own spin-off reality show.

"It will definitely be a lot more of her (gal pal Lori Michaels) and I and definitely my kids," Staub told NiteSide before her 48th birthday bash at high-end strip club Scores in Manhattan. "Tehre will be a lot of questions that will be answered."

One question Staub did answer was the state of her relationship with Michaels, her producer and rumored girlfriend: "We're exclusively committable," she said while holding Michaels hand.

The pair was on stage at Scores to perform Staub's new single, "Real Closer," which she revealed will have a music video to go with it.

"It's going to be very sexy and soft," Staub said. "It will have two women and you can only guess who those two women are going to be."

A reality show and music video aren't the only upcoming projects for Staub, who is on the outs with her fellow "Housewives" castmates.

"I would love to [collaborate] with 50 cent," Staub said. "There is actually some talk going on already from his camp. Kat Deluna and I have something in the work as well."

While Staub said she knows "there is no place like Jersey," she did have some advice for the cast of the new "Real Housewives of DC."

"Consider it a job at the end of the day and don't let it get to you," Staub said. "Don't read the blogs because they're not going to make you feel good. Only accept positive correspondence on any online interactive sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. All the rest, you've got to ignore it and block it because it really will eat you up."

There was a surprise appearance of her "Real Housewives" nemesis, Kim "G" Grantell, before Staub arrived at Scores. Grantell was escorted from the premises before Staub walked the red carpet.

"She [Grantell] just really needs attention and that's why she showed up here," Staubs said. "She was nobody when I met her, she's nobody tonight, and she will never be anybody."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

UPDATE: My story was doing so well, my editor linked it up in all other markets. This means it was on the entertainment pages in the other nine markets (Miami, Washington DC, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Connecticut, and Dallas-Fort Worth) and linked back to my original New York City NiteSide version.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comic Katie Schorr: I'm Proud of My Role in Trojan Ad

Me and Katie Schorr backstage at Joe's Pub

Comedic actress Katie Schorr, who has appeared in CollegeHumor videos, said last night that she's proud of what has become perhaps her best-known gig: her role in Trojan condom commercials.

"I just liked that it was such an earnest and sincere person talking about a really grottie thing," the 27-year-old funnywoman told NiteSide at her solo show "Did I Do That?" at Joe's Pub in Manhattan on Monday night.

"I feel like I look earnest and sincere, but I can talk about less palatable things and make them funny."

Schorr said she is focused on establishing a career out of making people laugh, with her current focus on writing a new web series called "Efficient Officiant."

"It's about a wedding officiant and his girlfriend manager who are failing to make a business out of marrying people," said Schorr, who co-stars in the series with boyfriend Lance Rubin. "I love to do things that I think are genuinely funny like this."

Rubin also joins Schorr on stage as a backup band member during "Did I Do That?," which recounts an eight-month period during Schorr's college years where she focused on losing her virginity. She recalls stories from a fraternity formal, a spring break trip in Jamaica, and negative experiences she had while volunteering in the Dominican Republic.

Aside from her web series, Schorr said that right now she is most interested in acting on a TV drama, specifically playing the comedic relief character.

"I love the people on dramas who bring in their sense of humor and add a little comedy to what is a really bleak world," Schorr said. "Although, if 'The Office' wants to hire me, I'll do it."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Inside the la Cita Sienna Party in Union Square

Roberto Cordero was one of the raffle winners at the la Cita Sienna party.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

I went to the la Cita Sienna party in Union Square last night and then also to the off-Broadway show Fuerza Bruta: Look Up. Here is the gallery I created for NBC from the pre-show event.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Farewell NBC Internship... Hello Freelancing!

A beautiful sunrise from my apartment window.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

I finished my internship with NBC local media this week. It was one of the best internships I've ever had. I had great opportunities and learned a lot.

BUT... don't be sad for me, blog readers. I am not done with NBC. I am starting as a NBC freelancer this weekend, which I'm really excited about! Basically, what this means is that I will be covering the same types of stories for NBC, but now I have my first paying journalism gig. :)

So, that's about all for now. There are many more stories to come!

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mary-Kate Olsen: "I Would Never Wish My Upbringing On Anyone"

Mary-Kate Olsen says she and twin sister Ashley were like "little monkey performers" during their time in front of the cameras on "Full House."

The unique childhood forged an even deeper bond between the two, but it all seems strange in retrospect, she said.

"I look at old photos of me, and I don't feel connected to them at all," Mary-Kate told Marie Claire magazine. "I would never wish my upbringing on anyone ... but I wouldn't take it back for the world."

Mary-Kate and Ashley were ranked 11th on Forbes list of wealthiest women in Hollywood in 2007, with their net worth listed as an estimated $1 billion. Originally built on movies, their empire now includes clothes, hair care products, and merchandising as well.

The former child stars have been there for each other through all the ups and downs and are still each others biggest supporters.

"Sometimes Ash and I have to bring each other back, or push each other more," she says. "It's really helpful to have another half; we're constantly checking in with each other."

Now the 24-year-old siblings are focused on their fashion lines, Elizabeth and James, The Row, and JCPenny's Olsenboye. Mary-Kate takes her designs very seriously and spent a "year-and-a-half to make the first T-shirt."

But Mary-Kate hasn't ruled out acting again.

"I still read scripts, and if something great comes along, that's great... but [The Row] is my day job," said the actress who has a role in Beastly, a horror film due out in 2011.

This story ran in all of NBC's ten local media markets: New York CityMiamiWashington DCPhiladelphiaSan FranciscoLos AngelesSan DiegoChicagoConnecticut, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Jennifer Aniston Channels Barbra Streisand for Photo Shoot

Barbra Streisand/Jennifer Aniston
Photos sources: Columbia Pictures/Harper's Bazaar

Jennifer Aniston paid tribute to the original funny girl, Barbra Streisand, in a photo shoot for the September issue of Harper's Bazaar. Jen donned Babs' signature elaborate eye makeup, a wig, and manicured nails for the shoot in an old Los Angeles theater.

And it didn't take much to convince the "Friends" star to dress up like the woman she's idolized since childhood.

"Barbra inspires me because there isn't anything she hasn't done that she wanted to do, especially as a female in the time when her generation was prime," Aniston said. "She's a true renaissance woman."

Aniston, 41, met Streisand at a Hollywood New Year's Eve party a few years ago and called it a wonderful experience.

"I've loved her since I was a kid, and all of a sudden, there she is, and she's just like someone you've always known," Aniston said. "She was wonderful, and you could talk to her about anything. I happened to be talking to her and Jim [Streisand's husband, James Brolin] when it struck midnight. They said, 'Excuse us,' kissed each other, and then, very politely, kissed me."

Even without the wig and makeup, Aniston said she and Babs have more than a few things in common.

"We love interior design," Aniston said. "Also, we are people who just have been put in the spotlight, for better or for worse, and you just keep riding, and you keep overcoming, and you just stay true to what you love to do."

And Jen loves to make people laugh.

"People laugh at me. Sometimes I know why, and sometimes I don't. But I can pretty much find humor in anything. That is a necessary part of life," Aniston told the magazine. "I don't want to say laughter is healing, because it sounds corny, but it's a release."

She stars opposite Jason Bateman in her latest film, "The Switch," which is due out later this month.

"He is perhaps the most adorable human being on the planet," Aniston said about her co-star. "I'm so glad he's having a resurgence."

Jen has two other films in the works, "Just Go With It" with Adam Sandler and Nicole Kidman, and "Bosses" with Jason Sudeikis, but she is looking to get behind the camera and direct.

"I directed a short a couple years ago, and if I don't do it again soon, I'm going to burst out of my skin."

After a long conversation about directing with Barbra, Aniston felt that she can do anything.

"You don't have to stop at one thing," Aniston said. "You can do it all if you want to."

My story about Jennifer Aniston ran in all ten NBC local media markets: New York CityMiamiWashington DCPhiladelphiaSan FranciscoLos AngelesSan DiegoChicagoConnecticut, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

NBC NiteSide NiteByte Posts

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Dissed" Eminem: I Won't Be Nice at MTV Awards

Eight Video Music Award nominations aren't enough to knock the chip off Eminem's shoulder.

The rapper, whose "Recovery" album has held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart for five straight weeks, vowed not to "be nice about it" when he shows up at MTV's 2010 VMAs next month.

"Apparently, MTV doesn't care that I have two massive stadium shows on the other side of the country the day after the VMAs," said Eminem. "F me, right?!?!"

Eminem's "Not Afraid" video is up for "Video of the Year" and "Best Male Video." He is also competing against himself in the "Best Hip-Hop Video" category with "Not Afraid" and "Forever," a collaboration he did with Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and Drake. In all, Eminem got more nominations than any other male artists, yet he still feels snubbed.

"I mean, I'll be there but don't expect me to be nice about it," he groused.

Lady Gaga is also going head-to-head with Eminem for the "Video of the Year" with her "Bad Romance" and "Telephone" videos. It's the first time a female artist has been nominated for two different videos in this category. She also made history with her 13 overall nominations, the most ever received by any artist in a single year.

Gaga, unlike Eminem, did not feel short-changed.

"I'm so honored for all the little monsters and self-professed freaks of the universe, to have more VMA nominations in a single year than any artist in MTV history," she said. "Ironically, I'm even more proud it's an unlucky number: 13."

The show will air live from Los Angeles on September 12.

This story ran on all ten of NBC's local media sites: New York CityMiamiWashington DCPhiladelphiaSan FranciscoLos AngelesSan DiegoChicagoConnecticut, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Women of "Mad Men" Like Their Retro Curves

Not all the women in Hollywood are encouraged to look like stick figures -- the team behind "Mad Men" likes 'em buxom.

January Jones, star of the AMC hit set in the early 1960s, says that creator Matthew Weiner tells female cast members to keep the carbs and forget about exercise.

"He would prefer we didn't work out and that we eat really well, so we look like healthy women," Jones said in an interview with Tatler magazine. Jones happily complies, since she happens to love beer and carbs.

Jones, 32, said that she is pleased that "Mad Men" has brought back the idea that "it's OK to have curves and be a woman. I wish more women would realize that's what men like."

Weiner has another fan in British Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, who told the "Sunday Times" that curvaceous women should be the "role models" for young girls. Featherstone used Jones' "Mad Men" co-star Christina Hendricks as an example, saying her size 14 is "absolutely fabulous."

"All women have felt that pressure of having to conform to an unrealistic stereotype, which plagues them for their whole life," Featherstone said. "Women and girls also have the right to be comfortable in their own bodies."

Last year, the "Mad Men" producers warned Jones that she was becoming too thin and told her to gain weight. Now she has embraced her new figure and admits to loving the girdle she wears to help her achieve the hourglass look, saying, "it gives you such a nice shape."

Not only does "Mad Men's" retro take on women's figures get Jones' approval, the era's sexism captured on the show doesn't seem all that bad to her, either.

"I don't think we've come very far," Jones said. "At least they were gentlemen back then. They might say something shitty behind your back, but at least they opened the door."

This story ran on all ten of NBC's local media markets: New York CityMiamiWashington DCPhiladelphiaSan FranciscoLos AngelesSan DiegoChicagoConnecticut, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

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Stars of South Beach: Meet Miami's Top Celebs

The beauty and excitement of Miami make it a hot spot for celebrities. Check out the gallery I created of top high rollers who dominate the sizzling Magic City party scene.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Steven Tyler (Sort of) Says He's the Next "Idol" Judge


Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is hinting at his new role as the man to replace Simon Cowell as a judge on American Idol.

"I'm doing it," Tyler told People magazine after a concert Saturday in Las Vegas. "What do you think? I'm doing it."

But the 62-year-old singer stopped short of drawing the line, saying his future plans include "recording an album and [I'm] probably going to be a judge on 'American Idol.'"

The popular show is undergoing major changes as it enters its tenth season. The search began for a new judge on the panel when iconic judge Simon Cowell quit last season after spending nine years on the panel. While the list of possible replacements for Cowell spanned from Justin Timberlake to Courtney Love, another opening cropped up when Ellen DeGeneres announced last week that she would not be returning for another season.

"I love discovering, supporting, and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings," DeGeneres wrote in a statement explaining why she left the show.

Jennifer Lopez is reportedly close to signing on to replace DeGeneres. While Fox has neither confirmed nor denied her addition, The Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday that Lopez was in the process of working out an agreement with Fox.

The shakeup continued when Kara DioGuardi's year-to-year contract was said to have not been renewed. Fox is also reportedly weighing whether to bring back former "Idol" executive Nigel Lythgoe, who has suggested starting over with an entirely new group of judges.

On Monday, Fox chairman Peter Rice said that execs still planned to keep the same number of panelists. But "no one has signed a deal yet," he said, HitFix reported.

"There are no signed deals with anybody," he said. "There has been tremendous speculation... I can tell you that much of the information that has been written is accurate and some of the information is wildly inaccurate."

For now, Tyler is still on stage and not behind the judges' table, quipping during Saturday's concert, "The rumors are true... I'm pregnant with [guitarist] Joe Perry's baby," he joked.

Auditions for the new season that starts in January are currently in progress.

I was asked to write a story for NBC's Entertainment section today. I was excited to get experience writing for more sections on the site and to get published in more cities. The story ran nationally on all the NBC local media sites. I'm so excited!! I'm including links to the published story from each of the markets it appeared in, even though they're all the same story.

NBC NiteSide NiteByte Posts

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